Tag Archives: RAM

2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Crewmax

Tundra TRD Pro a big honkin’ truck, with shortcomings …pickup, Tundra, F-150, Chevy, Silverado, Titan, Sierra, GMC

You’d think all big pickups are pretty much alike. First, their grilles are massive, their stance is tall and imposing, their engines are mostly V8s and they’ll all haul a honkin’ big load.

That’s true, but the devil is in the details and there are a lot of details because there are soooo many variations of every pickup.

Toyota’s Tundra TRD Pro Crewmax, this week’s test drive, is all of the above, but it falls short on some rather important details.

First, it won’t tow as much as some of the other pickups. It’s rated to pull 10,500 lbs., which is considerable, but the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra and Nissan Titan will pull 12,000 lbs., and Ford’s F-150 about 200 lbs. more than that.

Toyota Tundra, pickup Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Ford F-150Second, Tundra doesn’t even offer a diesel engine, while the Ram and Titan both do. Incidentally, the diesels also get much better fuel economy.

Third, Tundra’s fuel economy is poor. The test truck was rated 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. Compare that with the very similar GMC Sierra I tested recently, which was rated 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Ford’s top-selling F-150, which cut 700 lbs. by going to an aluminum body, is rated higher yet.

For the record, I got 18.4 mpg in an F-150 test last year, 15.9 mpg with the Sierra and just 14.9 mpg with the Tundra. Lest you think I was lead-footing it, or this was an aberration, I got just 14.6 mpg in my last Tundra Crewmax test drive. Continue reading 2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Crewmax

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2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum 4X4

Tundra CrewMax looks, feels big … and luxurioustundra

Need a big truck? Toyota has one, the Tundra CrewMax.

Need a luxury pickup? Consider the Tundra Platinum version. That’s what I drove this past week and luckily it was the 4-wheel-drive model as we still had a fair amount of snow to navigate on the side streets.

Toyota continues to apply pressure to the top-selling Big 3, Ford, Chevy and Ram (formerly Dodge). One model year back the Toyota designers beefed up the hood and grille on Tundra to prove it was manly enough to challenge the big boys. Production also moved to San Antonio, Texas, an aim to calm buyers’ fears that their truck was being made overseas. Point taken!

So at 5,675 lbs. and riding on a 145.7-inch wheelbase, the crew cab model is hefty and a hauler. It’ll pull 9,800 lbs. and packs a strong 5.7-liter I-Force Flex Fuel direct-injected V8 that creates 381 horsepower. That’s 26 more ponies than Chevy Silverado’s plenty strong 5.3-liter V8. Torque rating here is 401 and Tundra uses a 6-speed automatic to put that power in action. Yet, for the record, the Silverado will pull 11,400 lbs. with trailering options. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum 4X4

2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Ltd. 4X4

Hefty Tundra ready to take on the Big 3’s Big Boys

Tundra is a big moose of a truck.
Tundra is a big moose of a truck.

Toyota needn’t worry about folks pooh-poohing their full-size (and then some) Tundra pickup as not manly enough, or strong enough to take on the Big 3’s big boys.

Heck, the tested metallic black Tundra CrewMax Limited 4X4 is nothing if not big. First, it’s U.S.-built in San Antonio, Texas, a state that’s the prototype for big, including attitudes. The new 2014 Tundra appears to be trying to out-RAM the Chrysler Corp,’s massive RAM pickup, and it easily outsizes the popular Chevrolet Silverado I tested a month or so ago.

The CrewMax Limited’s engine is Toyota’s 5.7-liter I-Force Flex Fuel direct-injected V8 that creates 381 horsepower. That’s 26 more ponies than the Silverado’s plenty strong 5.3-liter V8. Torque rating here is 401 and Tundra uses a 6-speed automatic to put that power in action.

But the 5-passenger Tundra CrewMax is a behemoth, a heavyweight in every sense. It needs that horsier engine to tote around its 5,850 lbs. That’s about 900 lbs. more than the Silverado Crew Cab I tested, although it was only 2-wheel drive. Not sure what end-of-the-world scenario Toyota is building this to endure, but that’s a lot of girth that helps explain my gas consumption for the week.tundra

The EPA rates this at 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. Ugh, that’s old school math, albeit the numbers weren’t helped by out below 10-degree nights much of this week. I got just 12.9 mpg while the tested Silverado got 17.9 mpg and was rated a much greener 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Granted it was zero to 20 degrees the test week. Can you say frozen Tundra? Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Ltd. 4X4

2013 RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab

CNG powered RAM aims at farms and fleets

cng4
The RAM 2500 with CNG power has a huge bed, but that’s mostly filled with a huge steel container to house the large CNG tanks.

There are big trucks and Monster trucks, no not those with the giant wheels that crush cars in arenas around the Midwest all winter, but Really Big trucks, like the RAM heavy-duty beast I just drove.I’ve been on the commercial test truck list for Chrysler Corp. of late. So this week I ran the RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4X4, with the CNG option. That’s a long name for a giant truck, but the key differentiator is that it runs on both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).

To be honest, no one who isn’t into the construction trades or farming is likely going to even consider this monster. RAM says it only offers the truck to fleet and commercial buyers. But here’s the lowdown on it, in case you fall into one of those categories.

The RAM, formerly known as Dodge, is the normal three-quarter ton heavy-duty crew cab model with a long (8-foot) bed. It needs the long bed because it hauls along two large CNG tanks (130-liters each and equivalent to 18.2 gallons of gasoline) under a steel cover in the bed, just behind the cab. You can fill the tanks via an outlet in the normal fuel filler area, or fill its 35-gallon gas tank in the same spot. Continue reading 2013 RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab